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7 top tips for a successful consumer tech PR product reviews programme

Posted by Claire Barber on 28th September 2011

Launching a shiny new gadget in the consumer tech space will often involve making sure that ace new bit of tech lands in the hands of the most influential reviewers in the world of consumer tech journalism.

But it’s not just about wrapping a parcel in brown tape, picking up the phone to a courier and hoping for the best! To make sure client products receive the best possible reviews, there’s a lot of time consuming and hard work involved.

Below are my top tips for running a successful product reviews programme:

Tip 1Check out the competition

Do lots of research into products similar to your client’s to see what is being written about them. This will help you ascertain the key areas journalists are interested in and you’ll be able to highlight the best features of your product when selling in

Tip 2Produce a reviewers guide

Putting together a short review guide for journalists is a good way to ensure they are aware of all the important product features and can easily be guided through any set up processes. Also include availability, pricing and contact info. Journalists will appreciate not having to use precious time emailing or calling to find out this info

Tip 3 – Have product available (or at least have a date planned)

If you are launching a new product to the press, one of first questions you’ll be asked is “Can you send me a product to review?”. Even if the product hasn’t been shipped yet, at least have a time frame of when you expect to be able to send them to your journalists, to avoid disappointment and help them with forward planning

Tip 4 – Make sure you have a good number of samples

If possible, make sure you have more than one – and preferably many more – of the product for product review purposes. Ideally you won’t want key publications waiting for months to see something that will be old news after a few weeks, just because they have to wait their turn

Tip 5 – Bend over backwards to ensure the product is there when it should be

As general consumers, we all know how frustrating it is when you’ve waited in all day long for something to arrive and it doesn’t turn up., so don’t keep journalists waiting! Many journalists will need the product by a certain time to ensure it is featured in specific issues, so keep in touch with your journalists and put them at ease so they know they’ll receive what they have requested on time. They’ll keep coming back if they know they can rely on you and your client

Tip 6 – Keep in touch

Drop the journalist a line after a few days of receiving the product to make sure everything is going smoothly. It’s likely any technical glitches can be ironed out and any questions answered immediately, to give you a much better chance of a positive review

Tip 7 – Remember, it’s all subjective

Don’t be disheartened if the review wasn’t what you were hoping for. As long as you’ve done absolutely everything you can to keep your journalist happy (i.e. the above!), then you can rest assured knowing you’ve done your consumer tech PR job perfectly and may well have made the difference to bumping the review up a star or two in the process.

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